Day 63: Backstage passes on the Pacific Crest Trail…

Day: Sunday, July 31st 2016

Miles: 1269 – 1290

Remote Site 1269 – Williams Cabin Remote Site 1290

Given the high ridges of the Sierra and the general exposure of the trail up to now, it’s been very rare that I’ve had the joy of an easterly facing exposed site with no mountains or high ridges between myself and the sunrise. Today was one of those exceptions, with an incredible exposure to a beautiful sunrise as I cooked my breakfast. I’m not sure I’ve had such an amazing sunrise perspective since way back at Mt.Baden Powell so I took my time to enjoy it whilst cooking breakfast.

After the morning spectacle I started the mostly downhill miles to the village of Belden, CA. The trail opened out of the forest with some great views to the north as the sun rose. I passed Detour, Outro and Evac a few times along the way along with meeting Soup and Heatwave (whom I met way back before South Lake Tahoe). The trail dropped down into the river valley quite steeply and so the miles dropped off quickly.

As the trail crossed the tracks for the final road-walk through Belden we realized that the music festival in town consumed the trail route itself and that PCT hikers literally gatecrashed the event by hiking through the back-entrance to town. Whilst avoiding the $200+ ticket was a pleasant benefit of the Pacific Crest Trails unguarded entry to the secure area (a river was cuts the village from the highway but the PCT enters the village from a high ridge on the same side of the river), the sheer amount of people would prove to be a fun but later bewildering distraction as I resupplied and got out of town as quickly as I could. Regardless it was a fun spectacle hanging out at the hotel porch with a bunch of other hikers and enjoying the unfolding mayhem of an EDM concert in full flight.

Leaving Belden after some lunch and fully loaded through to Burney, I had a big haul ahead thankfully after the sun had dropped in the sky.

Advancing as far into the night as was practical given few and far between tent sites, I eventually settled with some other hikers by a small creek where an old cabin once stood. After last nights spectacle and beautiful sunrise this would suffice for now!

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